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Sellers Who Need to Sell to Buy

Posted by Emma Parker on May 13, 2022

Are you a homeowner who is either looking to take advantage of this seller’s market or ready to upsize/ downsize? This article is for you! Being an active Realtor, I see the strain sellers feel when they want to sell, but are afraid how stressful it will be if they don’t have their next property lined up. So for sellers who need to sell in order to buy, what does this process look like?

How Do I Know If I Need to Sell to Buy?

Depending on the type of property you’re intending to buy, you may have to sell your current home in order to buy. Working with your financial advisor & mortgage lender closely will answer this question for you. If you have the cash on hand, this won’t be an issue for you!

Depending on the market, you may be able to take out a home equity line of credit, & essentially borrow against your current home without having to sell it. You may be purchasing an investment property & decrease your expected monthly payment based on current rents. Or, you may not be able to hold 2 mortgages & have to sell your current home & use the proceeds to purchase the next.

Whatever your case, you’ll want to chat with your financial team to determine what your situation is & get all your ducks in a row before diving into the process.


The first thing to go over when discussing your next move is your timeline. Are you trying to move ASAP? Or, is there a date in the future that you’d feel more comfortable with? The goal is to put yourself if a good position so that you’re not scrambling to sell or buy.

For some, it may be a good idea to start searching for their next home/ land before listing. For others, it may be more suitable to prepare to list or list their home first. The situation of every seller who needs to sell to buy is different. Being strategic about the timeline of both the sale & next purchase is important.


If you have to sell in order to buy, you’ll want any potential offers to include a buyer contingency. This will be included in your purchase & sale agreement when you first submit an offer. It will state that you, the buyer, has to close on their home before closing on this new one.

In a seller’s market, buyer contingencies are less common, but do still happen! But, the good news is that sellers know that homes listed on the market are selling quickly & easily! So adding this contingency in doesn’t necessarily condemn your offer. It just means that the other parts of your offer should be strong & motivating to the seller.

Other Options

If you’re not keen on trying to move out & move in all at once, there’s always the option of finding a short-term spot. Whether that’s a rental, or a friend or family’s home, that’s something to plan early on in the process. It can be a lot smoother to focus on selling first then buying at your leisure.

However, there are some thoughts to consider. Where are you going to store your furniture? What type of lease are you willing to sign? What’s your budget for your rental term? All of these are factors need to be considered & thought of early in the process. Locking down your short-term stay early in the listing process will give you peace of mind knowing your next step & will give you time to look for your next home!

It’s Not as Scary as You Think

Selling in order to buy has this stigma of being extremely difficult. While there are always hiccups in any real estate process, the situation of selling and buying simultaneously doesn’t have to be difficult. There are different ways to navigate this process, but being prepared & having a plan is the best place to start. Having a solid financial team & Realtor who will listen to your goals & needs will ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible!


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